Inmate James Yi, 40, Died While Staying At Texas Department of Criminal Justice Boyd Unit In Teague
TEAGUE, TEXAS (January 25, 2024) - A 40-year-old inmate identified as James Yi has tragically died while staying at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Boyd Unit in Teague.
TDCJ are saying that the incident began on January 20. James Yi was found unresponsive in his jail cell and transported to the hospital.
Despite life-saving measures at the hospital, the inmate could not be saved. Sadly, James Yi was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmate Deaths
Inmate deaths are far too common across the United States. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “In both 2018 and 2019, more than 90% of prisoner deaths occurred in state prison facilities. Deaths from all causes decreased in state prisons from 2018 to 2019, with the exception of deaths due to drug or alcohol intoxication and homicides. Deaths in prisons operated by the BOP increased from 378 in 2018 to 381 in 2019.” There are a number of common causes of inmate death.
- Heart attacks
When the state assumes control of a person’s autonomy through incarceration, certain constitutional standards will apply. Jails must take measures to ensure that the inmates in their care are safe and healthy. To that end, jails must provide for all of the medical needs that inmates have. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Deliberate indifference at a jail could come in many different forms.
- Prison staff may have intentionally ignored or disregarded obvious signs of serious medical conditions.
- Prison staff may have deliberately delayed or denied access to medical treatment.
- Prison staff may have failed to follow medical protocols or procedures.
- Prison staff may have ignored the deteriorating mental health of inmates.
It can be hard to know where to begin after any inmate death. To make matters worse, jails will do everything that they can to deny liability if an inmate dies in their care. Many jails will label inmate deaths as “natural.” But this can be highly misleading. Many jail deaths listed as natural involve some amount of medical neglect. The family of any person that died in a jail may be able to seek some measure of accountability through a civil claim.
Investigating Texas Department of Criminal Justice Inmate Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of James Yi. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. It is our sincere hope that measures are taken so that other tragedies may be averted.
Do you need more information about a Texas inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their misconduct. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.